it’s so hard finding the right words for this piece. when i sit down to write, words typically just flow in a somewhat effortless pattern of linguistic construction. this is different. maybe it’s because i’m writing about a topic that means so much to me that i don’t even know how to put it in to words. maybe it’s because i have so much to say that my brain cannot effectively organize my thoughts… nevertheless, we’ll give it a go.
one year ago today, earth day, was officially my first day as a vegan. i had been planning to do so with my friend, so we took a month to finalize our research and slowly replace our kitchens with plant foods. i remember that day as if it were yesterday… i wore two french braids. the day was pure bliss; although i had school, i didn’t absorb one bit of information. i was solely focused on the magic that is veganism. i went home and sat in my yard, being mindful of nature. ever since, i fell in love with the nourishment that is plant foods… the smoothies, the salad wraps, the buddha bowls, the pizzas, the array of pasta dishes, everything… it drew me in and healed me.
exactly one year later, absolutely everything, but also nothing, has changed. “everything” in the sense that i have grown so tremendously through veganism that i hardly recognize myself before i found it. “nothing” in the sense that the feelings of pure abundance and love have not left me since going vegan. i have for sure had my lows, but i have never been completely detached from the truths i have found within veganism – and that counts for something.
many people see being vegan as extreme and difficult, but after having been living vegan for a year, i can confidently say that it has been one of the easiest and most natural things i have ever done. the social stigma around veganism can be discouraging, but we do have complete control over it. i have found that doing these things can help open eyes to the message of veganism:
- spread what you know in a peaceful and appropriate manner. if you detect even a bit of touchiness about veganism, it may be better to leave the subject alone for then.
- lead by example! be mindful when you eat and be happy with what you’re eating! show others how beautiful and healthy a vegan diet can be by adding variety to your meals and being creative in the kitchen.
- as strange as this sounds, don’t use the word “vegan” every chance you get. some people attach a negative connotation to that word, so again, lead by example! if people want to emulate your lifestyle, they can follow by simply eating things similar to what you eat – every step counts!
- be respectful of the fact that some people cannot be vegan at this time. the “no excuses” mentality can turn people away as they may feel like they are being forced to do something unnatural or impracticable. remember that every step people take away from animal products counts, even if it seems small to you. after all, it is one step toward veganism!
- radiate happiness. when people see you flourishing, they will most likely want to do what you do in order to reach the state of grace that you are in!
traveling vegan has been so simple – even the smallest little colorado towns had almond milk in their coffee shops and veggie burgers on their menus! simply ask your servers about the menu and let them know about your dietary restrictions and they will be happy to help.
i have also loved seeing the elements of the environment that i help by being vegan. when i pass by cows or chickens on the interstate, i smile knowing that what i eat does not hurt them. when i see the ocean or a river, it pleases me to know that i save so much water by eating mindfully. when i notice the people on this earth every day, i am able to think about future generations that i can help preserve this planet for – it lifts me up. a big part of being christian is to give cheerfully, and i do believe that my being vegan is an act of giving cheerfully – except i never feel like i have to give anything up. it’s just a simple act of replacing things.
veganism called me with its chlorophyll-stained whispers of magical promises of a life worth living: a life filled with love, abundance, and compassion. i have been invited into this moonrise kingdom, and it has shown me that whatever energy i give to others is the energy i will receive. if someone were to ask me to explain what veganism means to me, i would have to say that it means as much to me as the ocean means to the shore. the ocean: filled with life, abundance, and forgiveness – it always returns to the shore with these promises. the sea cleanses the very edges of the earth and gives back what it takes – it restores balance and provides life. this is veganism, i would say. this is it. this is what brings peace and positivity… this is it.
thank you for being with me on this journey… thank you for listening and for giving my words a temporary home. more to come. xoxo